Preservation Magazine Features Swift Factory in Summer Issue

Hartford’s newly reimagined Swift Factory is featured in the summer issue of Preservation Magazine, a publication presented by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The article, A Transformed Gilding Factory Gives Hartford Locals a Chance to Shine, details the history of the Swift Factory and its transformational journey to become a community resource once again.

Like the building’s new materials blending with the old, Swift Factory bridges Hartford’s industrial past with its diversified future.

Bruner/Cott led the architectural transformation of the Swift Factory in 2020 in partnership with client and nonprofit developer, Community Solutions. The factory complex, which had sat vacant since 2005, was once the industrial and economic heart of North Hartford, a disinvested community in Connecticut. Following Community Solutions’ acquisition of the complex and a robust community process, the factory was renovated to house commissary kitchens for local restaurants, incubator kitchen space for fledgling local businesses, a community-based private school, a healthcare clinic, and shared office space for local entrepreneurs and start-ups.

The new use of the historic Swift Factory considers the economic, health, social, cultural, and environmental conditions of North Hartford to create a sustainable, yet innovative model for improving the quality of life for the neighborhood’s residents.

Read the full article on Saving Places.

Swift Factory Wins Preservation CT Award of Merit

The Swift Factory is the recipient of a 2022 Award of Merit from Preservation Connecticut!

The Connecticut Preservation Awards recognize individual projects, long-term contributions, and professional achievements that demonstrate the many ways historic places contribute to the life and vitality of Connecticut communities.

The M. Swift & Sons gold leaf factory was once the economic heart of North Hartford, employing over 300 residents at its peak. When production ceased in 2005, unemployment and poverty in the neighborhood drastically increased, leading to the area’s HUD Federal Promise Zone designation. Transformed in partnership with Community Solutions, the Swift Factory now serves as a community hub and job incubator for local entrepreneurs and start-ups, 90% of which are Black-owned. In a time of great social and cultural change, the new uses of the Swift Factory address economic, health, social, and environmental conditions in North Hartford, and repositions the former factory as a focal point of the neighborhood once again.

The project was honored at an awards ceremony on May 4th at the New Haven Country Club.

Thank you to the Preservation Connecticut Awards jury for recognizing our work at the Swift Factory and the positive impact preservation can have on our communities.

Two Bruner/Cott Projects Named BD+C Reconstruction Award Winners

Two Bruner/Cott projects have been named Silver Award winners in the 2021 BD+C Reconstruction Awards – The Swift Factory, a community hub and job incubator in North Hartford, CT, and Frost Terrace, a 100% affordable housing development in Cambridge, MA.

The BD+C Reconstruction Awards recognize the best reconstructed, renovated, or remodeled projects, based on overall design, engineering, and construction project quality. The Swift Factory and Frost Terrace are among nine Silver Award winners this year, out of 40 total submissions and 18 winning projects.

Frost Terrace is a unique, transit-oriented, 100% affordable family community. The project transforms a forgotten residential site along a commercial avenue into a high-quality housing development for low- and middle-income families in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and combines three historic structures with new construction in a single composition. Its immediate proximity to public transit, bike lanes, and essential community services provides critically needed housing in an attractive, sustainable development.

The Swift Gold Leaf Factory, which closed in 2005, was once the economic heart of Hartford, Connecticut’s North End neighborhood. The Factory’s historic factory buildings and two homes have been reimagined into a community venue generating opportunities for job creation and training, educating youth, improving resident health, and spurring economic growth in Northeast Hartford, Connecticut, a disinvested community.

You can view all winners of the 2021 BD+C Reconstruction Awards in the November/December issue, here.

Swift Factory Redevelopment Bringing Hope to Northern Hartford

The redevelopment of the former M. Swift & Sons gold leafing factory is transforming the former industrial complex into a food business hub that will be geared toward creating jobs and opportunities for neighborhood residents.

On July 25, neighborhood residents had an opportunity to tour the Swift Factory property and envision the potential of the new site. The community is hopeful that the new hub will breathe life back into the economically depressed neighborhood.

““This is like a breath of fresh air,” said Rosa Bailey, former neighborhood resident who now lives in Bloomfield. “This is going to spark something in people who have been dreaming for years about doing something.”

Residents like Brenda Turner, who grew up in the North End and now lives in Windsor, say they can picture the Swift factory standing at the center of a bustling local economy, like it did decades ago.

Read the full article by the Hartford Courant here.

Ground Has Been Broken at Hartford Swift Factory

Ground has officially been broken at the Swift Factory in Hartford, Connecticut!

The vacant factory campus will soon be transformed into an “economic engine” for local job growth, healthy food production and distribution, and local business partnerships, all with zero displacement. It is expected to bring over 150 long-term jobs to the North Hartford Promise Zone, part of an initiative started in 2015 that provides federal resources to spur economic opportunity in communities across the United States.

Bruner/Cott celebrated this milestone with members of Consigli Construction Co. and Community Solutions, as well as US Senator Richard Blumentahl, Representative John B. Larson, Mayor Luke Bronin, and residents of the North Hartford community.

From gold leaves to green leaves, the Swift Factory will house a 35,000 sf indoor farm run by FreshBox Farms, as well as a commercial kitchen and incub

ator for developing local food business. Two historic houses on the property will also be repurposed for community use.

“Today is a historic day for the North End of Hartford. Today’s groundbreaking is a step forward for the revitalization of the Historic Swift Factory. Its new role as a hub for food business, health, and jobs will make a huge impact on this community. I would like to congratulate Mayor Bronin and Community Solutions for all their work on this project,” – US Representative John Larson, CT

To learn more about the Swift Factory redevelopment, visit the project website at www.swiftfactory.org.

 

Photos courtesy of Bruner/Cott Principal Jason Jewhurst, AIA. 

Swift Factory to Break Ground in September

Once a hub for Hartford industry, the M. Swift and Sons gold leafing factory has stood vacant since 2005. Bruner/Cott and Community Solutions have partnered with the community to revitalize the building, spurring job growth, economic development and community health in North Hartford.

On Saturday, September 8, the project will officially break ground! To celebrate this project milestone, there will be an official Ground Breaking & Community Celebration on site.

More details will be posted as the event nears.

To learn more about the Swift Factory, visit www.swiftfactory.org.